Surah-al-Kahf or “The Cave” as it is translated is the 18th surah of the noble Quran and is one among the widely recited surahs of the holy book. This surah is more so recited on a weekly basis(on Fridays) by a majority of Muslims around the world. I myself recite it on every Friday after my asr salat. Today is the first Friday of Ramadan, hence I thought of sharing some info related to the jummah’ surah. It is just not reciting that helps, but a basic understanding of the different chapters of the Quran is all the more important. Whilst there are numerous lessons to be learnt from this surah, I would first like to provide a gist of the entire surah— as it is divided in 4 short parts each with a beautiful story and a hidden message in it. Lets us look at what all narratives are incorporated in this surah.
MEN OF THE CAVE:
Primarily this surah is named after “The Cave”. In the first part of the surah Allah(swt) tells us of how there were these young men who believed in the oneness of Allah (tawheed), but the community to which they belonged was that of non-believers(kaafirs), and when they felt a threat to their lives from the kaafirs they prayed to Allah and he led them to the cave and caused them a deep slumber— they woke up after a prolonged period of 309 years, to find themselves in a land of believers(al-muminin).
MORAL: Mashallah! one should learn to hold on to the rope of Islam that tight no matter whatever the circumstances and Allah is sure to help you.
THE OWNER OF THE GARDENS:
Furthermore Allah tells us the story of the owner of the gardens. There was a wealthy man and Allah bestowed him with two beautiful gardens.Prosperity had got into his head and he began to show off his wealth and was in the wrong notion that his wealth was going to last forever. He forgot to thank Allah despite the reminder of his friend to express his gratitude to the almighty. As pride has a fall, Allah destroyed the beautiful gardens. Whilst the man repented— it was too late.
MORAL: That is where Allah teaches us to be humble, as he alone is the owner of everything, our wealth, is but a temporary asset of this world.
Roughly in between these four stories Allah(swt) speaks of Iblees and how he spreads fitnah on the earth.
“and remember when we said unto the angels— fall, prostrate unto Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblees. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord’s command. Will ye choose him and his seed, for your protecting friends instead of me, when they are enemy unto you?. Calamitous is the exchange unto evil-doers”.
—Surah-al- Kahf Ayaah 50
MOOSA(A.S) AND KHIDAR(A.S):
Next comes the story of Moosa(A.S), where Allah(swt) asks him “who is the most knowledgeable person on the earth?” to which Moosa(A.S) replied “Its me!” but Allah(swt) tells him that there was someone more knowledgeable than him— that is Khidar(A.S), and then Moosa(A.S) travels to meet Khidar(A.S) to gain knowledge from him, and learns that pristine knowledge helps us in perceiving the will of Allah.
MORAL: Here we get to learn the quality of humility. How much ever learned a person maybe one should always be humble, and use that knowledge for the sake of Allah.
Finally in Surah-al-Kahf we learn the story of Dhul-Qarnayn— the epitome of an unprejudiced monarch. Dhul-Qarnayn had all the power on earth but he never misused that power. He always acknowledged the good deeds of people. He was the one who put an end to the issue of Gog and Magog (Yajuj + Majuj), by building a wall with the help of people whose language he could not even understand.
MORAL: Always be just and unbiased when in power, because Allah loves a just sovereign.
Such a beauty is this surah, with tremendous amounts of knowledge hidden in the narratives of Allah. Four things to learn from it— never give up on your deen, never be proud of your riches, be humble of your knowledge and finally never be prejudiced against the less powerful.